Grades for goals? Challenging associations between educational engagement and improved football performance among Danish male elite players

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This study investigates the phenomenon of dual career in Danish male
football, with a specific focus on the notion that educational engagement
promotes football performance. The study does not support this
notion: Few or no sport-related benefits are found in the players’ perceptions
of their educational engagement, making them prone to believe
that dual career paths make success in either arena harder to achieve.
Based on these findings, we argue that the emphasis on education is a
legitimacy-creating process and branding strategy for clubs to attract the
best players and, more importantly, the support of the players’ parents.
Two ideologies to approach dual career are outlined: One for optimizing
football performance with an emphasis on players’ efficiency and total
dedication, and one for displaying football performance to society and
surrounding norms. When football clubs adhere to these two ideologies,
inconsistencies will appear, also referred to as a necessary hypocrisy.
TidsskriftSoccer and Society
Sider (fra-til)152-165
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2020


  • Dual career, Talent development, Elite football, Institutional theory, Education

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